Ashley Brinker and Jeremy Hill were Pacific High School’s representatives last Saturday at the MSHSAA cross country championships at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City.
The top 25 finishers in each race earned all-state honors.
Competing in Class 3, Brinker, a junior, finished in 42nd place in the girls race in 21:02.
Hill, a sophomore, placed 79th in the boys race in 18:22.
“The state meet was great weather and both Ashley Brinker and Jeremy Hill had good races,” said Pacific Coach Justin Perriguey. “Ashley ran a smart race. She improved her position throughout the race. Jeremy had a good showing for his first trip to Jefferson City. He placed in the top half. Next year, both will know what to expect and will have higher expectations.”
Perriguey said the cross country program at Pacific continues to improve.
“The boys went from a fifth-place Four Rivers Conference and ninth at districts in 2011 to second in the FRC and fifth at districts,” Perriguey said. “We got several good races out of a bunch of new runners.”
Several runners contributed to the boys team.
“I was happy to have Zach Myers and Isaiah Hudson come out as upperclassmen,” Perriguey said. “We also had four freshmen run at the varsity level, McCoy Meshach, Spencer Torwegge, John Whitelock and Kyle Robinson. They helped make this one of the deepest teams I have coached. Our returning varsity guys, Dan Dieckmann, Jeremy Hill and Ryan Lause, were key to setting the tone for our team early in the season. They were all quite a bit faster than the previous year. Hill and Dieckmann were great training partners in practice.”
The Lady Indians also showed improvement.
“The girls team placed second in the conference and eighth at districts in 2011. This year we made the conference meet closer and placed fifth at districts,” Perriguey said. “Improving with almost the same squad we had the previous season shows how much work the girls put in during the summer.”
The girls team had solid depth.
“Ashley Brinker and Hannah Graf were improved this season. They both improved their personal bests by about 45 seconds. That qualified Ashley for the state meet. Hannah was one spot from qualifying,” Perriguey said. “Kashmir Curtner made a tremendous comeback after having knee surgery last February. She had a great season. Sarah Turner was one of our few newcomers this year. She has a great mind frame for running and racing. Morgan Webb and Catherine Hayden were also returning runners. Both girls came into the season in the best shape they have been in at the start of a season.”
The future looks promising for Pacific cross country.
“The boys next year will definitely miss Dan Dieckmann and Isaiah Hudson. If the young guys keep working as hard as I think they will, they will continue to step up and someone will fill those spots,” Perriguey said. “The girls team will miss Morgan Webb. She has been a top five runner every year. That’s going to be difficult to replace. I know the returning girls will continue to improve and put in the work to get better.”